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#EndSARS: Unlike Buhari, Gambian President Vows To Act On Report Detailing Torture, Abuses Suffered By Citizens

The Gambian President, Adama Barrow, on Thursday, received a three-year report compiled by the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) which details the human rights abuses, torture and killings of citizens under a former leader, Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year dictatorship.

Barrow at the State House in The Gambia made the promise, saying, “My government will study the Report carefully for appropriate action. Thereafter, the Government will inform the general public of its position in a White Paper.”

The Gambian President’s position is in stark contrast with that of Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, under whose administration the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry released the report of #EndSARS victims and killings perpetrated by the Nigerian Army, particularly at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos State.

Buhari, while receiving the United States Secretary of State, Antony Blinkens, had said his government would see what action to take after the states concerned had acted on the reports by the panels.

This came days before his Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, launched an arsenal of attacks and desperate blackmail against the #EndSARS panel report, saying the victims were fictitious and the report was full of “recycled lies.”

In contrast, in The Gambia, the commission to investigate human rights abuses in the country wrapped up a sweeping three-year public inquiry into former president Jammeh’s dictatorship and was commended by the president at a public event on Thursday.

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The Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) delivered its report to President Barrow nine days before an election in which the exiled Jammeh urged his supporters to vote for an opposition coalition.

Nearly 400 witnesses testified before the TRRC, including both victims and perpetrators.

“To forgive and forget with impunity the violations and abuses would not only undermine reconciliation but would also constitute a massive and egregious cover-up of the crimes committed,” the commission said in a statement.

According to Reuters, in all, 240-250 people died at the hands of the state or its agents, the commission said. It recommended that the “persons who bear the greatest responsibility for abuses” be prosecuted but did not name anyone.

Barrow or his successor has six months to decide how to respond to the report, which was not made public.

In his speech obtained by SaharaReporters on Thursday, the Gambian President said, “Many African countries have established Truth Commissions, in one form or another, to provide a platform for victims of human rights abuses to relay their stories, hold perpetrators accountable and determine reparation packages, where necessary.

“The Gacaca Courts of Rwanda is an example. Despite the genocide, the people have reconciled their differences, and are now working together to develop their country.

“Here in The Gambia, the Commission was mandated to get to the bottom of human rights abuses, uncover the truth to guarantee a clear historical record of what transpired in our beloved country and submit recommendations on reparations for deserving victims.

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“Through the TRRC, Gambians now know what happened on Gambian soil in the past. Although we have decided as a country to unearth the truth, our desire is to create a path for healing and reconciliation, with the goal of co-existing peacefully as Gambians.

“I am certain that, if we choose to do so, we can live together in peace and harmony, without any form of injustice, and nurture our young democracy in a stable nation where the rule of law prevails in the best interest of all.  

“Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, under the leadership of the Chairman, Dr. Lamin Ceesay, I commend all the Commissioners, the Legal team, the Secretariat and the whole TRRC team for running the Commission’s affairs during its months of work. I thank you all for carrying out this national task successfully.

“In a special way, I thank the witnesses and their families for their fortitude and courageous testimonies. I assure them that my government will ensure that justice is done, but I urge them to be patient and allow the legal process to take its course. That way, justice will prevail, and we will be able to heal as a country and move forward united and stronger, with greater determination.”


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Boko Haram Releases Photos Of Abducted Policeman, Civil Servants In Borno

The Islamic State faction of the Boko Haram terrorists has released photos in which they paraded three out of those abducted by the group along Chibok-Damboa road in Borno State.

The group had last week abducted some staff members of the Borno State Ministry of Works at Wovi village.

The abductees were supervising the 45-kilometre road, before the insurgents took them, along with three laterite and sand-carrying trucks and a Hilux vehicle into the Sambisa Forest.

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Meanwhile, one of the staff was able to escape unhurt.

The terror group during the week released different pictures of how the abduction took place.

It also released pictures of a police officer, and two other abductees.

Since the death of factional leader, Abubakar Shekau, ISWAP has been consolidating its grip in locations around the Lake Chad.

Just recently, it appointed Wali Sani Shuwaram, a 45-year-old as the new Leader (Wali) of ISWAP in Lake Chad.

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The sect’s membership has swollen with the defection of hundreds of Boko Haram fighters under Shekau.

The Nigerian Army has repeatedly claimed that insurgency had been largely defeated and frequently underplays any losses.

The terror group has caused over 50,000 deaths and displaced millions of individuals mainly in Adamawa, Borno, and Yobe states.


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Court Must Sanction Nigeria’s Secret Police, DSS For Flouting Orders On Nnamdi Kanu, Punishing Him With Starvation — Lawyer

Ifeanyi Ejiofor, the lead counsel for the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu has said that the Department of State Services (DSS) shunned all court orders regarding Kanu, one of which is to give the IPOB leader maximum comfort.

In what he described as “unfortunate and worrisome”, Ejiofor said DSS operatives had been punishing Kanu because his lawyers dared to complain about their inhumane actions towards him at the last court hearing.

Ejiofor said this in a statement after his routine visit to Kanu which was obtained by SaharaReporters on Tuesday. 

During an emergency court hearing last Thursday, Justice Binta Nyako at the Federal High Court in Abuja, ordered the DSS to allow Kanu to interact with other inmates freely, change his clothes, and practise his Jewish religious beliefs among others.

But Kanu’s lawyer disclosed in the statement yesterday that the DSS operatives had “unrepentantly continued to treat the orders of the court with greatest disdain.”

Ejiofor said the DSS is starving Kanu and also denying him medical reports despite taking his blood samples 21 times.

The statement said, “The routine visit to our Client – Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu was conducted today, 6th December 2021 and in his usual practice, he extended his compliments to his millions of supporters. He remains profoundly grateful for the overwhelming support and show of solidarity thus far.

“However, we observed with dismay, and indeed very unfortunate and worrisome that notwithstanding the far-reaching orders made by her Lordship in the open Court on the 2nd of December 2021, the detaining authority being the DSS has in their usual style, flouted and/or ignored the said court orders.

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“We were informed by our Client – Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu that none of the pronouncements made by the Court on the 2nd of December 2021 has been obeyed by the DSS. They have unrepentantly continued to treat the Orders of the Court with greatest disdain.

“Our Client – Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu further informed us that he had not eaten anything since yesterday. Apparently, he is being punished because we dared to complain to the court about the condition under which he is being held in custody. But, very, unfortunately, this should be the height of their reckless affront to the orders of the court.

“At the time her Lordship made these far-reaching orders in open court, I did not mince words in informing the court that the operatives of the DSS will flout these orders, pursuant to which the court specifically told me to come back to her with these facts if her order is flouted.

“Interestingly, we will be approaching the court tomorrow with this terrifying development, which is totally unacceptable, grossly condemnable, and cannot be tolerated.

“The facts must be placed in their proper perspectives: Our Client – Onyendu Mazi Nnamdi Kanu has not been convicted of committing any crime, he is still presumed innocent of every unfounded and frivolous allegations against him, and as such, the DSS has no power whatsoever to whittle down the enjoyment of any of his rights clearly protected under Chapter 4 of the Constitution.

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“The detaining authority (DSS) is an agency clearly established by instrumentality of the laws and should operate within the confines of the same laws establishing them, and should not be seen as a lawless entity.

“We, hereby, demand without further ado, the immediate compliance with all the orders of the Court clearly made on the 2nd of December 2021 and further attempt to flout these orders must be faced with strict sanctions by the Court.

“We respectfully wish to assure our Client’s teeming supporters that we cannot leave anything to chance towards ensuring that our Client is sufficiently protected and his rights are upheld. The DSS must and shall certainly operate within the confines of the laws. They have no option on this.

“Be assured that we are not resting on oars whatsoever, to ensure that our Client is unconditionally released. This strategy isn’t being discussed here, but it will happen soon.

“Thank you UmuChineke for always giving us your listening ears, it shall certainly end in VICTORY.”


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Sahara Reporters

Redeemed Church Members In US Protest During Worship Service Over Killings In Nigeria

Some members of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) staged a surprise protest during a service at one of the church branches in New Jersey, the United States.

One of them, Dr Seyi Adesanya, who expressed displeasure at the way Nigeria was being governed, shouted “Say no to Fulani government,” repeatedly.

In a viral video obtained by SaharaReporters, a woman could be heard talking over the public address system, persuading the protesters to take things easy.

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The RCCG members accused their own church of colluding with the Nigerian government to wipe out Yoruba and Igbo from the country.

“You are co-conspirators. RCCG are conspirators. We are Yoruba and Igbo here. They’re killing our people. We won’t take this no more. Nonsense,” one of them said. 

However, two other protesters, who were armed with placards containing pictures of the killings going on in Nigeria, displayed them before some church attendants, believed to be government officials.

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“This is exactly what is happening; you’re sitting down here in the US. This is what is happening. We won’t take this anymore,” one of them said.

Meanwhile, another protester yelled “Call them!” when someone threatened to get the police involved.


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Police Shoot Department Of State Services Official, Arrest 37 Residents During Raid On Abuja Community

The Nigeria Police Force personnel have shot an operative of the Department of State Services (DSS) during a raid on Dakwa community in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

The policemen who are from the Zuba division reportedly raided Dakwa community, an Abuja suburb on Friday, arresting about 37 residents.

According to Daily Trust, the unidentified DSS official was said to be on transit when he was allegedly shot in the Dakwa raid.

Some passersby in the community were arrested during the operation which took place around 8pm.

A resident, Aliyu Ibrahim, who introduced himself as a security guard in one of the private schools in the area, he was one of the people arrested and taken to the police division where they spent the night.

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He said other people arrested included traders, tea and roasted meat sellers as well as commercial motorcyclists.

“They stormed the area with three vehicles including a Hilux van, bus and a utility vehicle.

“They operated alongside local vigilantes who rode the impounded motorcycles, while their owners and other arrested people were conveyed in the police vehicles,” Ibrahim said.

Another resident, who craved anonymity, alleged that the arrested residents were released the following morning on bail, after parting with N5,000 each.

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Responding, the Zuba Divisional Police Officer (DPO), CSP Osor Moses, confirmed the shooting of the DSS official but said he was responding to treatment at the University of Abuja Teaching Hospital in Gwagwalada.

He, however, referred inquiries on the incident to the FCT police command.

At the command, the police spokesperson, DSP Josephine Adeh, said she would get back to our reporter but did not up till the time of filing this report yesterday night.


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BREAKING: Dowen College Parents Demand Change Of School Management, Hostel Teachers, Organise Candlelight For Late Sylvester

The Dowen College Parents’ Forum in Lagos State has demanded an overhaul of the school management and hostel teachers as well as the installation of Closed Circuit Television cameras in the school as the death of 12-year-old student, Sylvester Oromoni, continues to gain prominence nationwide.

The parents’ forum, which condemned the death of the student, said a candle light procession would be held for him on Wednesday.

In a release obtained by SaharaReporters on Tuesday and signed by Aituaz Kola-Oladejo, Waheed Adeoye, Oluwaseun Bolanle Ajila and Kingsley Kema Agu, the parents stated that what happened to Sylvester “could have happened to any other child in the school.”

The forum said, “Dowen College Parents are startled and deeply saddened by the unfortunate incident that led to the death of Sylvester Oromoni. Our hearts go out to the family of the deceased and pray that God gives them the strength to bear the irreparable loss. 

“As parents of Dowen college students, we are still in shock and could not come to terms with this incident and the accounts so far provided by the school,students, and the media. 

“We urge the school management team and other stakeholders (students and parents directly or indirectly mentioned) to fully cooperate with the authority in the ongoing investigation. While we would have loved to bring Sylvester back if humanly possible, unravelling the cause of Sylvester’s death and bringing whoever was responsible or might have contributed in whatever way to book,will not only bring this unfortunate incident to a closure for the family, but this will also serve as a deterrent to others in all schools in Nigeria.

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“We therefore say justice for Sylvester, is justice for all. On our part as parents, we will work more closely with the school (management/board), to ensure necessary measures are put in place to prevent a reoccurrence of this unfortunate incident and stamp out bulling in any form from the school.

“We therefore earnesly ask for a resolution that will bring some relief to the bereaved family, other parents, students of Dowen College and the public.

“These should include a change of the school management and hostel teachers, installation of CCTV cameras in all strategic places and overhauling of the school security system.

“The Parents’ Forum is organising a Candle Light event. Details of which are as follow: Wednesday, December 8, 6pm; Dowen College. The lighting of candles is to pay tribute to a life ‘passed’ and keeping the light burning signifies that the memory still lives on and burns bright.”  

SaharaReporters earlier today reported that the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Hakeem Odumosu, revealed that three students of the college were currently being investigated over the death of Sylvester.

Although Odumosu did not give the identities of those in custody, but had insisted that they were the main suspects.

SaharaReporters also reported that the Oromoni family had hired the firm of human rights lawyer and activist, Femi Falana, SAN, to prosecute its case against the institution over the death of their son.

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The human rights lawyer’s chambers had written to the office of Lagos State’s Chief Coroner, requesting an inquest into the circumstances leading to the death of his client’s child.

The letter was dated December 6, 2021, signed by Taiwo Olawale, and addressed to the chief coroner, High Court of Lagos State.

The story of 12-year-old Sylvester went viral last week after a family member went on social media to demand justice.

In a series of Tweets, the family member, with handle @Perrisonoromoni said Sylvester was assaulted by some senior students of Dowen College.

He added that Sylvester died after sustaining multiple internal injuries from being tortured and bullied.

Also, in a video released online by the family member, Oromoni Jr was seen writhing in pain. His teeth were stained dark red with blood. His legs were swollen, and his belly was bloated.

The Management of Dowen College in a statement had claimed that Sylvester was injured while playing football. In another statement, they assured that they would cooperate with authorities to investigate the incident.

The Lagos State government through its Ministry of Education paid an inquiry visit to the college and announced on Friday that the school be shut down indefinitely.


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Staff Of Internally Displaced Persons’ Commission Write Buhari’s Minister, Seek Suspension, Investigation Of Agency’s Boss, Sulaiman-Ibrahim

Some members of staff of the National Commission For Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI) have called for the immediate suspension of the agency’s boss, Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim over alleged mismanagement of the commission and corrupt practices.

They also called on the anti-graft agencies, Economic Financial and Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in a petition written to the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, to probe the allegations levelled against Sulaiman-Ibrahim.

According to them, the alleged mismanagement of the agency by Sulaiman-Ibrahim might in a short time, lead to the imminent collapse of the agency. The group noted that challenges emanating from maladministration, high handedness, incompetence and corruption in the agency were caused by poor leadership.

The petition titled, “Urgent Need to Rescue National Commission for Refugees, Migrants, and Internally Displaced Persons from Imminent Collapse”, alleged that, “This agency is currently bedevilled by a series of challenges basically emanating from maladministration, high handedness, incompetence and corruption” under the leadership of Mrs. Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim.

“The concerned staff cited alleged abuse of administrative procedures, contravention of public procurement laws, misapplication of meagre resources, illegal appointment of Central Pay Officer (CPO), consistent inflation of travel costs, lack of transparency in the implementation of Project Zero Hunger, inhuman treatment of Persons of Concern (PoC), and incompetence and lack of understanding of the Commission’s mandate.”

On alleged contravention of public procurement laws by Mrs. Sulaiman-Ibrahim, the concerned staff alleged: “There is lack of transparency in procurement matters. The HFC bullied Procurement Tenders Board (PTB) members and ensured anticipatory approvals were done during two PTB meetings held since she assumed office. PTB members that raised concerns over the illegality of anticipatory approvals were talked down harshly and intimidated by the HFC.

“In one of the PTB meetings, she ordered the printing of contract award letters of capital jobs immediately without even the financial opening for capital jobs.

“As it is, except for her lackeys, the Director of Finance and Accounts, Usman Abubakar, and the Assistant Director, Procurement, Mr. Obadiah Rimamamsomte, none of the PTB members have a complete picture of how all the funds allocated to the Commission have been spent by the HFC.

“She deployed the Deputy Director, Procurement out of Procurement Unit to Training and a new Director of Procurement, Mr. Adeoye, was posted to the Commission from Bureau of Public Procurement.

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“After the PTB meeting of 5th November, 2021, the Commission awarded contract contravening Procurement Act.

“This Assistant Director, Procurement, practically superintends the procurement processes of Commission even as he has no mandate in the Commission. This is a precursor to financial fraud, which portrays the Commission in a very bad light.”

They further accused Mrs. Sulaiman-Ibrahim of appointing a Central Pay Officer (CPO), who has never been an employee of the government, but who nevertheless signs official financial documents allegedly in breach of financial regulations.

“This is why we strongly believe that she (the HFC) connives with the CPO, who is not a public servant and cannot be disciplined by our laws, to mismanage the Commission’s funds,” the petition reads.

The petitioners also alleged that “The HCF inflates travel costs to the detriment of the Commission. Sometimes, she goes on a day trip and collects Duty Tour Allowance (DTA) for 5 days. She mostly uses Air Force jets to travel, but collects ticket fares.”

The petitioners further decried the alleged “misapplication of meagre resources,” saying, “The HCF, during her first PTB meeting, appropriated overt N32 million for the renovation and high-end luxurious furnishing of her office at the Annex and Federal Secretariat.

“This is a gross abuse of power and misapplication of funds considering that the Annex office was brand new when she took over and the Federal Secretariat office was recently renovated and furnished by her predecessor. This is unconscionable for a head of an agency grappling with millions of hungry, homeless, and jobless Persons of Concern (refugees, IDPs, etc.).

The aggrieved workers cited an incident where refugees from the Central African Republic had to travel from Kano to Abuja for documentation that should have been done in Kano had the HFC approved.

“Under her supervision, some refugees from Kano were compelled to visit Commission headquarters, Abuja for some documentation. These PoCs, who are clearly indigents, were made to travel through Kano-Kaduna-Abuja Road that faces serious security challenges. These refugees travelled on 23rd November 2021 and came to the office on 24th November 2021. Even as they complained of lack of any place to pass the night, they were chased away from the Commission premises in a very inhuman manner. This portrays the Commission, which carries out a humanitarian activity in a bad light,” they said.

Mrs. Sulaiman-Ibrahim was accused of unilaterally replacing the usual distribution of foodstuffs and household items with Project Zero Hunger. 

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The workers alleged that its financing is shrouded in secrecy.

“The HFC unilaterally initiated a project tagged Zero Hunger with Defence and Police Officers Wives Association (DEPOWA) to replace the conventional food distribution model. It was done in haste, poorly conceptualised and executed, and shrouded in secrecy, as the management of the Commission is ignorant of the financial contribution of the Commission towards the project,” they stated.

They equally accused the HFC of singlehandedly including members and families of the Armed Forces in the Commission’s mandate without recourse to the extant laws or amendment of the law establishing the agency.

The petition further read: “While we hold members of our Armed Forces and their families in the highest esteem and grateful for their sacrifices, their welfare is not part of the Commission’s mandate. The HFC has unilaterally included soldiers and widows of our fallen heroes as PoCs while not addressing the most basic needs of our own IDPs and refugees.”

They accused the HFC of harassing and intimidating workers who criticise her administrative style, alleging that she engages the services of spy agents to spy on the staff.

“We learnt from a reliable source that the current HFC has employed the covert services of even some security operatives to stifle our efforts to sustain your (Honourable Minister’s) legacy in the Commission.

“But since we made this appeal in good faith, as we know that one day we shall be made to account for our deeds here and in the hereafter, we, therefore, pledge to physically testify to all our complaints in the petition if the Honourable Minister would facilitate our protection,” the petition added.

“We, therefore, appeal to you to kindly use your good offices to restore the glory of the Commission to maintain the anti-corruption posture of the federal government,” the workers urged the minister. 

In their two-point prayer, they called for the “immediate suspension of the HFC to prevent cover-ups and harassment of staff and order for full investigation (of allegations) levelled against her, including an audit of the procurement and financial activities since her assumption of office”.

They also want the minister to “direct the HFC to return to the Commission resources spent on these unnecessary, wasteful, and self-serving ventures”.


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Myanmar’s Military Reduces Prison Sentence Of Ex-leader, Suu Kyi To Two Years

The military in Myanmar has reduced the prison sentence of deposed leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, to two years.

Suu Kyi was earlier sentenced to four years in prison by a court in the country on Monday over multiple charges of corruption, violations of a state secrets act and a telecoms law that altogether carry a maximum sentence of more than a century in prison.

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She, however, received a pardon from the military later on Monday, according to state media, MRTV.

Suu Kyi is set to serve time in detention at an undisclosed location.

Also, President of the country, Win Myint, had his sentence reduced to two years from four.

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Myint and Suu Kyi were deposed by the military in a coup on February 1. 

Monday’s ruling is the first in a dozen cases the military has brought against 76-year-old Suu Kyi since it deposed her civilian government.


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COVID-19 Vaccines Should Reach 70% Of Citizens Before 2022 Ends – Nigerian Government

The Nigerian government has said it is prepared to vaccinate 70 per cent of Nigerians against COVID-19 before the end of 2022.

The Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) on COVID-19, Mr Boss Mustapha, said this on Monday in Abuja.

According to Daily Trust, Mustapha spoke at the National COVID-19 Summit with the theme: “Pushing Through the Last Mile to End the Pandemic and Build Back Better”.

“We are now in the era of vaccines and non-pharmaceutical intervention measures.

“We need to encourage all eligible persons to get vaccinated and keep observing washing of hands, wearing of face masks, keeping physical distance and avoiding crowded areas. Nigeria has invested in vaccines that can cover over 70 per cent of our population before the end of 2022.

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“These vaccines are safe and efficacious; it is better and safer to be vaccinated against this virus, now,” Mustapha said.

He said that at the end, the committee was expected to have carried out the review of the country’s COVID-19 response from February 2020 to November 2021 to identify successes, gaps and lessons to be learnt; and also to identify resources and develop strategies that will actualise the country’s expressed international commitments toward ending COVID-19 by 31st December 2022 among others.

The SGF said that other expectations were an articulation of actionable recommendations to President Muhammadu Buhari on the governance structure, resources and policies needed to end COVID-19 in Nigeria by 31 December 2022.

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He said that the recommendations would include how to rebuild the health system and the economy for a better response to future threats.

He said, “Nigeria’s COVID-19 response has been driven by science, data and experience since then till date.

“The national response has been driven by a multi-sectoral process which facilitated expansive and in-depth consideration of issues as well as speedy decision-making.

“The process enjoyed the overwhelming support of partners from the private sector and the international community. Through these partners, Nigeria was able to put in place critical infrastructure nationwide, procure scarce medical equipment, test kits and personal protective materials.”


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Woman Arrested In Borno With Live Ammunition Belonging To Nigerian Soldier

The Borno State Police Command has announced the arrest of a woman, Anita Yohanna, who was caught with live ammunition while trying to board a car to Yola from Askira town in the Askira Uba Local Government Area of Borno State.

The command also paraded 52 suspects.

Anita, a 25-year-old diploma holder, confessed that the ammunition was given to her by her military lover, identified only as Lance Corporal Aliyu Isa, which he asked her to deliver to the driver of a commercial vehicle heading for Yola.

According to Punch, she said, “I have been dating the soldier for one year and four months. His name is Aliyu Isa; he is a Lance Corporal with the Nigerian Army serving in Askira. He gave me the bag and instructed me to take it to the park in Uba and waybill it in a vehicle going to Yola.

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“I arrived at the Una Motor Park around 5pm. When I got to the driver, he asked me what was in the bag and I told him I did not know, then he said we should open it to confirm before he would accept the luggage. Opening the bag, we discovered it was live ammunition. We counted them and discovered 90 pieces of live ammunition. That was how I was arrested and brought to the state police headquarters.

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“The soldier was also arrested by the military; he is detention now at the military facility here in Maiduguri.”

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police in Borno State, Abdu Umar, said Anita’s case was one of many other criminal cases under investigation by the police among which included four cases of rape of minors, theft and vandals of electrical armoured cables.

The police boss said all the cases would be charged to court at the completion of investigations.


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Family Of Late Dowen College Student Hires Falana Chambers To Prosecute School As Another Parent Narrates Ordeal

The family of late Sylvester Oromoni Jnr, 12-year-old late student of Dowen College that was allegedly bullied by his seniors, has hired the firm of human rights’ lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, to prosecute the case against the institution over the unfortunate death of their son.

According to a report by Premium Times, the Falana Chambers has since written to the office of Lagos State’s chief coroner, requesting an inquest into the circumstances leading to the death of the child.

The letter, which was dated December 6, 2021, and signed by Taiwo Olawale, was specifically addressed to the chief coroner, high court of Lagos State.

It was titled; “Request for Inquest into the Tragic Death of Sylvester Oromoni killed at Dowen College, Lekki, Lagos.”

The lawyer noted that based on the briefings by the family, the late student died as a result of injuries allegedly inflicted on him by his seniors at the school.

The letter reads in part: “Given the needless death of Sylvester Oromoni, we are compelled to request you to use your good offices to cause a coroner’s inquest to be conducted into the cause of death of this young and promising boy and make appropriate recommendations pursuant to Section 15 of the Lagos State Coroner’s Law 2007 that states that an inquest shall hold whenever a coroner is informed that the death of a deceased person within his coroner district is as a result of a death in a violent, unnatural or suspicious situation.

“We hereby request your lordship to conduct an inquest into the circumstance surrounding this tragic death and we are confident that your lordship will accede to our request with utmost urgency.”

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Recall that the parents of the deceased petitioned the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu seeking a proper investigation into their son’s death.

Meanwhile, a lady, Nikky Ufondu who claimed her son was enrolled in the school has taken to her Instagram page to narrate what she described as a scary experience of her then 10-year-old son at the school in 2013.

According to Ufondu, her son had complained bitterly about his experiences in the hands of those he described as bullies, who he accused of robbing his son of his money, provisions and other belongings.

She also said the bullying forced her to remove her son from the college after his first term in JSS1, accusing the school management of being concerned about school fees only and not the children’s wellbeing.

She added that her son’s case was not different from that of several other kids in the school, who she noted had faced similar bullying challenges and that she made the decision for her only son, whom she identified simply as Henry, to leave the college.

And just as the deceased’s father accused the school management of not asking after the late Oromoni junior, Ufondu also said, “After removing Henry, who is my only son, from the Dowen College, the school management never reached out to me, nor find out why I took my son away from the school; only his teacher who knew of the incident contacted me months after we withdrew the young man from the school.”

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The death of the 12-year-old became of public knowledge when a relation to the deceased, Perris Oromoni said on social media that his cousin was beaten to death at Dowen College.

This attracted outrage from Nigerians with many demanding justice for the young boy.

Others called on parents to withdraw their children from the school following the incident.

The school in its reaction to the incident claimed that the deceased sustained injuries while playing football and was given immediate medical attention by its resident nurse.

Subsequently, the student complained of having pains in his hip and was attended to again by a doctor and nurse and thereafter taken to his house, the school said.

The victim’s cousin thereafter released photos and video evidence, showing Sylvester was bullied and beaten, leading to his death.

The video shared by the family of the boy before his death showed him in pain.

The deceased was also said to have been forced to drink an unknown substance by the bullies.

The father of the late student had alleged that the parents of pupils responsible for torturing his son had made arrangements for them to fly out of the country.

In another statement, the school claimed it was ready to work with the authorities during investigation into the matter particularly with the closure of the school by the Lagos state government.


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Oil Spill: Bayelsa Communities Protest, Ask Nigerian Government To Declare Pollution Areas As Disaster Zone

The apex socio-cultural group of the Nembe ethnic Nationality, Nembe Se Congress, has protested and demanded that the Federal and Bayelsa State governments should designate the impacted areas in the Santa Barbara Oil Spill as a major disaster zone.

The President of the body, Prof Godwin Egein, who made the call at a briefing in Yenagoa, said the November 1, 2021, spill from the high pressure Aiteo’s Oil Mining Lease 21 located in Worikuma-Kiri has continued to spew poisonous substances into the environment over a month after its occurrence.

The group also called on relevant regulatory agencies to compel Aiteo to ensure a stoppage of the spill and a comprehensive cleanup of the affected areas.

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The Nembe Se Congress described the spill as one of the biggest disasters in the history of oil and gas exploration and exploitation of the country.

Egein stressed that with dangerous hydrocarbon fluids still gushing out from the well head and destroying the environment in the process, there was a need to declare the area a major disaster zone.

In an eight point demand, Prof Egein also urged for speedy end and remediation of the spill site while advocating the constitution of a joint investigation visit team to ascertain the cause of the incident.

He called for more relief materials and a comprehensive health care arrangement for the people while urging residents in the various fishing and farming settlements along the spill site to relocate to safer locations in view of the health implications.

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Earlier, some Nembe Se members comprising elders, youths and women groups had embarked on a protest walk from the Ekeki Park to the NUJ Press Center in Yenagoa to call for urgent attention to the ongoing spill in the Santa Barbara River.

Carrying placards with messages such as “Nembe We Bleed”, “Nembe Oil Spill is a National Disaster”, “We don’t have a second home”, “Federal Government take charge” amongst others, they called on Aiteo to ensure transparency in all matters concerning the disaster.


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Strike Looms As Nigerian University Lecturers, ASUU Give 24 Hours To Declare Action

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened to embark on a strike action if the Federal Government fails to act urgently.

The development trails the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum it handed to the Federal Government to implement its demands.

The National President of ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, said the Federal Government would hear from the union in the next 24 hours concerning its next line of action, Tribune reports.

According to him, consultations were already in place with the various branches for a final position to be made known to the public soon.

Osodeke disclosed that the meeting of the principal officers of the union which was held on Sunday, resolved to proceed on consultation with branches, adding that the consultation would be through within the next one day after which the union would come out with its position.

ASUU also stated that the Federal Government only met one out of the demands of the Union which is the NEEDS assessment; the revitalisation funds of N30billion which it claimed N20billion was paid to the universities.

He said, “It is the principal officers that met yesterday (Sunday)”, explaining that, “following our procedures, we are going to the branches to consult them and then we will come to take the final decision.”

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Recall that on 15th November, 2021, ASUU had given the Federal Government three weeks to accede to its demands or face another round of strike.

It was, however, gathered that the Federal Government through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, is making efforts to stop the imminent strike action.

Recall that ASUU had threatened to embark on another round of strikes following the Federal Government’s failure to implement the Memorandum of Action (MoA) agreed upon.

ASUU President, at a news conference at the union’s National Secretariat, University of Abuja, had called on parents and all patriotic Nigerians to hold the Federal Government responsible if it failed to address the issues within three weeks after the news conference.

He said despite the unions meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, on October 14, on major outstanding issues which include, funding for revitalisation of public universities and earned academic allowances.

Other outstanding issues, he said, were University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) promotion arrears, renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement, and the inconsistencies in IPPIS payment, which up till now had not been addressed.

“ASUU is fully committed to upholding academic integrity in the universities and is working to make them more globally competitive.

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“We are equally committed to promoting industrial harmony in the Nigerian university system for as long as all stakeholders are willing and committed to play their part.

“We call on all vice-chancellors, as the main drivers of the system to join us in this mission to safeguard the waning image of our universities.

“They have no business trading honorary degrees and academic positions for personal and immediate gains; thereby smearing the collective integrity of committed scholars and other patriots who are working day and night to uplift the system that produced them.

“Our union shall not shy away from taking the fight to administrators of Nigerian universities as well as internal and external agents who are bent on compromising the standards ASUU has consistently laboured to protect and improve.

“Government of Nigeria should be held responsible should ASUU be forced to activate the strike it patriotically suspended.

“Finally, we call on all patriotic Nigerians and lovers of Nigeria to prevail on the federal and state governments to act fast to prevent another round of industrial crisis in Nigeria’s public universities,” he had said.


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Sowore’s Lawyer Writes Buhari Ahead Of Tuesday’s Court Sitting, Says Government-hired Thugs Plotting To Assassinate Activist

Tope Temokun, counsel for human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, has written to President Muhammadu Buhari, asking him to ensure the safety of the life of the activist as thugs hired by government security agencies are plotting his assassination.

The lawyer warned the Buhari government that on Tuesday, December 7 when Sowore would appear before the Court of Appeal, Abuja for the hearing of his application challenging further his stringent bail conditions, his safety must be guaranteed and he must not be attacked by hoodlums.

The letter, obtained by SaharaReporters on Monday, added that intelligence already revealed that the security agents had mobilised thugs to be conveyed to the court of appeal tomorrow (Tuesday) to attack Sowore to prevent him from having his day in court.

The letter to Buhari reads, “We act as Solicitors to Mr. Omoyele Sowore, a pro-democracy activist and social justice crusader (hereinafter referred to as “Our Client”), on whose behalf and express instruction we write this open letter to you.

“On Tuesday, the 21st day of October, 2021, while our client was at the premises of the Federal High Court, Abuja to observe and witness the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, he was attacked by some men, armed with petrol bombs and other lethal weapons, who alighted, with no caution, from a vehicle with registration number BWR 812 KM that had conveyed them down to the Court.

“Our client informed us that he was amidst the officers of the Nigeria Police Force and operatives of the DSS on the premises of the Federal High Court, Abuja, when these suspected sponsored thugs launched the attack on him.

“Following this incident, petitions dated the 25th of October 2021 and the 29th of October 2021 were submitted to the Police Service Commission and the Inspector-General of Police on the 28th of October 2021 and the 29th of October 2021 respectively complaining about this incident and the complicity of the security agents, particularly the police officers present at the scene, led by one CSP ABDULLAHI ABUBAKAR HASSAN, the DPO of the Federal Secretariat Police Station, Abuja. Copies of these petitions were sent to Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard, United States Ambassador to Nigeria and Ambassador Keti Karlsen, EU Ambassador to Nigeria.

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“While the Police Service Commission has not responded to the petition to our knowledge, we received invitation from the IGP X-Squad Abuja on our petition that the IG had directed our petition be investigated and on the 22nd of November 2021, we were at the office of the IGP X-Squad where our client, Mr. Omoyele Sowore gave his statement to the police on the attack on him on the court premises and the complicity of the security agents present.

“While investigation on this serious matter is supposed to be ongoing or believed to be ongoing, our client briefed us that on Thursday, 2nd of December, 2021, armed thugs wielding dangerous weapons attacked him on the premises of the Federal High Court Abuja and damaged his vehicle while he narrowly escaped being assassinated by these thugs he believed were mobilized to the Court by the DSS working in collusion with some police units.

“Tomorrow the 7th of December 2021, Our Client is to appear before the Court of Appeal Abuja for the hearing of his application challenging further his stringent bail conditions which had restricted him to Abuja since 2019 and information at Our Client’s disposal this minute is that the security agents have mobilized thugs to be conveyed to the court of appeal tomorrow to attack him to prevent him from having his day in court.

Sowore’s Lawyer Writes Buhari Ahead Of Tuesday’s Court Sitting, Says Government-hired Thugs Plotting To Ass… by Sahara Reporters on Scribd

“Having exhausted all the hierarchical facilities of complaint against this act of barbarism and brigandage in which the DSS have kept mute despite the open outcry of Our Client of their complicity in these serial attacks and the police too have not come out with the helpful result of their investigation, we are constrained to write to you Mr. President to lay before you the hatched assassination attempts on our client by forces enjoying the backing the law enforcement agents under your government. We therefore call for your intervention as silence in this case by all authorities and the presidency will lead to no other conclusion than that the attack is coming by order from the above.

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“We commit the safety of Mr. Omoyele Sowore to the hands of the government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under you, Mr. President, as he pursues social justice through the Courts that we all agree and believe is the last hope of the common man and with full confidence, that all forms of intimidation notwithstanding, in the fullness of time, the course of justice shall mature and justice shall prevail.”

SaharaReporters had on Sunday chronicled the series of attacks carried out by government-backed hoodlums on Sowore in the recent years.

For instance, on February 6, 2021, a police officer who had tortured and broken Sowore’s nose during #CrossOverProtest on January 1 came to court with the same squad to intimidate the activist.

On July 26, 2021, the Nigeria Police Force and DSS unleashed violence on Sowore as he arrived at the Federal High Court in Abuja to witness the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). 

On October 21, the DSS also colluded with thugs to attack Sowore in the same court after he was denied entry by policemen during Kanu’s trial. 

It took the intervention of some journalists covering the event to rescue the activist from his attackers, who had arrived on the scene in vehicles.

But to the surprise of everyone, the security agents including the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Federal Secretariat Police Station looked on as the activist was being assaulted.

On December 2, the DSS added to the already swelling list of attacks against Sowore’s liberty on court premises.

Last Thursday’s attack was not the first time the DSS would be mobilising thugs to go after Sowore – the latest incident only adds to an already swelling list.

Armed thugs hired by the DSS attacked Sowore as he made his way out of the Federal High Court, Abuja. 

Immediately they sighted him, the thugs rushed towards Sowore and started throwing stones at the activist and the people with him.

As he navigated his way out of the court premises, the thugs rained several more stones on his car, damaging the shields, windows and some other parts. 


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It’s Now Crime To Be In Fine Cars, Look Good – Imo Residents Lament Rising Police Harassment, Extortion

Residents and youths in Owerri, Imo State, have raised concerns over their safety following a rise in harassment and highhandedness by policemen in the city.

The youth say policemen often dressed in T-shirts and ripped jeans have made it a custom to now accost young people in sleek cars and those in commercial vehicles before intimidating them with guns and batons.

The police falsely accused those accosted to be internet fraudsters or members of cult gangs in order to forcefully extort money from them, it was gathered.

In a video of one of such incidents that took place on Saturday around Rapour Junction, a popular section of the city, some policemen wielding AK-47 rifles could be seen assaulting and rough-handling a bunch of young men in a salon car they had chased to the spot.

Firing several shots into the air to scare away onlookers, the policemen brutalised some of the youths in the vehicle when they dared to ask what their offences were.

As the beating and gunshots went on, one of the guys could be heard crying for help on top of his voice.

The team of policemen later led the young men away in their vehicle to an unknown destination as the crowd of onlookers grew around the scene of the assault.

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The incident, the latest of such in recent times, has sent many of the city’s residents in panic mode ahead of the Yuletide.

Speaking with SaharaReporters, some of them said they were afraid to move around the city as a result of police harassment.

“Attacks on young people by policemen in Owerri are becoming too many. The moment they see you in a fine car and looking good, they will accost you and look for a way to extort money from you by falsely accusing you of being a Yahoo boy (Internet fraudster).

“There is not a day in Owerri that this incident doesn’t happen. If it continues, many of our brothers may not come home for Christmas and New Year celebrations,” Nwabueze Fidelis, a resident, said.

Chux Oguzie, another resident of Owerri, said, “There is serious police brutality going on in Imo State, Owerri precisely.” 

Earlier in October this year, SaharaReporters revealed how some young men were arrested and subsequently harassed by police officers in Owerri.

Okechukwu Nwanguma, the Executive Director of Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Center, a non-profit group, had in a statement revealed that policemen accosted one Victor, who had travelled from Lagos to Owerri en route Mbaise for a burial and forcefully collected N60,000 from him for no offence.

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He disclosed that Victor and one of his cousins, who had come to pick up from the airport in Owerri, were arrested at Enyiogugu and thown into a police van.

The young men were taken to a Point of Sale operator were they were forced to withdraw the money and settle them.

Victor identified their vehicle number as NPF4605D.

The disturbing trend of police harassment had become so worrisome that young people across the country in October 2020 poured out to the streets to demand an end to police brutality.

In response, the police authorities dissolved the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad whose personnel were majorly responsible for such atrocities.

But a little over a year after the disbandment of SARS and the police authorities promised reforms and more respect for the rights of citizens, nothing has changed as ordinary Nigerians especially young people remain at the mercy of rogue policemen desperate to maim, kill and extort.


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Three Killed, Many Injured As Farmers, Herdsmen Clash In Jigawa

No fewer than three persons have been killed while many others sustained various degrees of injuries in a violent clash between farmers and cattle herders in Kirikasamma Local Government Area of Jigawa State.

The local government information officer, Sunusi Doro, said the government and security agencies had swung into action to restore law and order in the area.

Doro said the incident happened at Madaci and Iyo communities but that officials were still awaiting the report of what led to the deadly clash.

A resident, Idris, told Premium Times that the clash began on Wednesday following an encroachment into farmlands by herders which led to destruction of crops.

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He said the encroachment provoked the farming communities to come out enmasse to protect their crops which are already ripe for harvest.

Idris said two people were murdered in Madaci, naming the victims as Abba Ali and Umar Sani.

He also identified one other person he said was killed at Iyo community as Aliso. He said the victim was a labourer from Kazaure local government area working as a farm hand in Kirikasamma.

The source said the herders used arrows and machetes to kill the three people.

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He added that the injured victims were taken to neighbouring Kano and Yobe States for treatment.

He said the injured victims were taken to Nguru in Yobe and the Mallam Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital in Kano, while some others were in Hadejia responding to treatment.

“The hospital in Kano is requesting N300,000 to remove the arrow from the body of a victim and we are now contributing money but we are yet to meet the amount,” Idris said.

The police spokesperson in Jigawa, Lawan Adam, said he was yet to be briefed on the incident.


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